Joey Barton
Joey Barton

Former England Midfielder Joey Barton has called on the FA to be more “21st century” in its approach to gambling regulations.

Daniel Sturridge is waiting to find out if he will be punished for allegedly breaching football betting rules.

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Liverpool say “Daniel has stated categorically that he has never gambled on football”.

Barton was given an initial 18-month ban by the FA for gambling offences in 2016 while he was a player at Burnley.

“They have to revise their approach,” the Fleetwood Town manager told Sky Sports News.

“The players that are getting exposed and banned for it are really the tip of the iceberg.

“There’s a lot of people who have vested interest in promoting and advertising gambling, I don’t think it’s a problem with that.

“I just think it’s a problem when we ban something that is clearly a massive part of our game and then we start banning players for it.”

Sturridge has been charged specifically in relation to Rule E8(1)(a)(ii) and Rule E8(1)(b), during the period of January 2018.

The first rule states that a player “shall not bet, either directly or indirectly, or instruct, permit, cause or enable any person to bet on – (i) the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of, or occurrence in or in connection with, a football match or competition; or (ii) any other matter concerning or related to football anywhere in the world”.

The second rule bans players from providing information for use in betting, “which the participant has obtained by virtue of his or her position within the game and which is not publicly available at that time”.

Barton added: “I’m not saying we should allow betting on games because obviously, it would probably hurt the integrity of the sport but I think we need to be a bit more 21st century about our approach.

“I do think the rule here is a little bit too draconian, a little bit too hard line.

“What difference does it make if a player in the Premier League is betting on the Brazilian league, how can he influence that?

“The zero-tolerance approach is clearly always going to have casualties.”